While Russia and Germany are battling for first place in the Istanbul Chess
Olympiad, the Australian open team has made steady if unspectacular
progress through the middle of the field.
With two rounds to play, Australia remains entrenched in the top 50 but
will need a strong finish to achieve their target of 30th place in the 126
The sole star in the Australian open team has been Darryl Johansen, with
the Melbourne Grandmaster in distinct medal contention, having scored an
Unfortunately Johansen has enjoyed scant support from his team-mates, with
only one other Australian bettering 50%.
In contrast the Australian women's team has been one of the great surprise
packets of the Olympiad, with our unfancied team inside the top 30 for most
of the second half of the Olympiad. Irina Berezina and Ngan Koshnitsky have
handled the Grandmaster opposition on the top boards with aplomb while
17-year-old Laura Moylan has starred on fourth board.
Debutante Moylan has scored 7/8 to date and seems set to become the first
Australian woman to win a medal at a Chess Olympiad.
The following game was crucial in Australia's disappointing 1.5-2.5 loss to
Scotland in the 12th round, Leonid Sandler losing to a spectacular attack
which had been prepared by his opponent before the game.
Istanbul Olympiad 2000
Opening: Sicilian Defence
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.f4 a6 7.Be2 Be7 8.0-0 0-0
9.Be3 Qc7 10.g4!?
An aggressive line which catches Sandler unawares. Black's best reply is
10...d5 but Sandler reacts too casually.
10...Nc6 11.g5 Nxd4 12.Qxd4 Nd7 13.f5 Re8
13...Ne5 14.f6 is also ugly.
14.fxe6 fxe6 15.Bh5! g6?
15....Rf8 avoids the coming assault.
(Diagram) 16.Nd5!! exd5?
Demoralisation. 16...Qd8 avoids immediate disaster, although Black's d pawn
remains very weak after 17.Nxe7+ Qxe7 18.Be2.
17.Qxd5+ Kh8 18.Qf7 Qd8 19.Bd4+ Ne5 20.Bxg6! hxg6 21.Qxg6
Despite having two extra peices, the threat of 22.Rf7 is decisive.
21...Be6 22.Qh6+ Kg8 23.Qxe6+ 1-0
Open Olympiad (126 teams, 14 rounds)
Australia def Turkmenistan 2.5-1.5
Australia drew with Italy 2-2
Australia drew with Moldova 2-2
Australia lost to Scotland 1.5-2.5
Australia def Norway 3-1
Women's Olympiad (86 teams, 14 rounds)
Australia def Albania 2-1
Australia def Finland 3-0
Australia def Lithuania 2-1
Australia lost to Czech Republic 1-2
Australia def Bangladesh 2.5-0.5